Full restoration of power
in Costilla County expected Dec. 20
Many residents in Costilla County will continue to be without power through the weekend and into next week following Wednesday’s extreme wind that passed through the San Luis Valley. The Costilla County Emergency Management office reported Thursday that “full restoration of power to all homes” is expected Dec. 20 and Dec. 21. Costilla County had 37 power poles damaged from the extreme wind.
Costilla County residents without heat or have special needs can obtain a hotel voucher at the San Luis Inn. A water buffalo is also set up at The Depot in New San Acacio from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for people to collect water for drinking and other household use. The Costilla County OES provided this number, 719-501-3236, for emergency contact.
Alamosa school board changes
COVID health and safety protocols
At its meeting Thursday night a split Alamosa School Board adopted a change in policy to the school district’s COVID mitigation plans. The major change, adopted on a 4-3 board vote, was to loosen quarantine protocols to let parents decide if a student needs to quarantine.
Under the new reopening plan, if a student in a class tests positive for COVID, rather than the entire class going into quarantine, a parent could opt to send their student back to school if their student isn’t showing any COVID symptoms. Or, the parent can choose to have their child stay home to quarantine and learn remotely during that period. Here’s the wording: “If an exposed student is not exhibiting symptoms, the parent will have the choice to: send their child to school and monitor for symptoms; or quarantine and participate in remote learning.”
The Alamosa County Public Health Department in a correspondence to the school board pushed back against the change and said it didn’t support it.
The school board is composed of Heidi Richardson, Alvin Coleman, April Gonzales, Amanda Wilkinson, Michael Mumper, Justin Rilling and Gloria Solis. Richardson, Coleman, Rilling and Wilkinson are new members elected in November. The four formed a majority to push through the change. Mumper, Gonzales and Solis voted against the proposal.
The full plan voted on by the school board is here. The school board also adopted a separate resolution “addressing face coverings and other COVID-19 mitigation requirements.” It too was adopted on a 4-3 vote. The resolution is here.
Richardson is the new board president and ran her first meeting. Colvin is the board vice president, Wilkinson is board treasurer, and Gonzales is board secretary.
Alamosa schools go on holiday break after Friday’s half-day session.
Alamosa County administrator search
down to two applicants
The search for the next Alamosa County Administrator is down to two candidates – Roni Wisdom and Carle Tarnutzer. Both were interviewed on Thursday by Alamosa County Commissioners Mike Yohn, Lori Laske and Vern Heersink. A third candidate, John Cook of Iowa, withdrew after accepting another position.
Wisdom is the acting county administrator following the departure of Gigi Dennis. She joined Alamosa County as controller in 2019 and previously worked as the Rio Grande County Administrator and Chief Financial Officer. Tarnutzer had been working as deputy district attorney in the 12th Judicial District Attorney’s Office up until November. Prior to that Tarnutzer had worked for the Weld County District Attorney’s office.
The county commissioners are expected to make a decision in time for their next meeting on Dec. 21.
Before the county commissioners settled in to interview the county administrator applicants, Commissioner Mike Yohn surprised his fellow commissioners when he announced he would not seek re-election. Here’s more on Yohn and his announcement.
Adams State Trustees meet Friday
The Adams State University Trustees board meeting is at 8:30 a.m. Friday. The board looks to take action on a proposed new public health academic degree. The full board agenda is here.
The trustees typically meet ahead of the Adams State Fall Commencement. This year’s Fall Commencement is Saturday at Richardson Hall Auditorium.
Christmas Light Parade is Saturday
The 11th annual Alamosa Christmas Light Parade is at 6 p.m. Saturday. The parade is on Main Street Alamosa, and organizers say they have 34 floats and counting. The parade is organized by Alamosa Round-UP.